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Número de publicaciónUS5685426 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Número de solicitudUS 08/655,098
Fecha de publicación11 Nov 1997
Fecha de presentación4 Jun 1996
Fecha de prioridad4 Jun 1996
TarifaCaducada
Número de publicación08655098, 655098, US 5685426 A, US 5685426A, US-A-5685426, US5685426 A, US5685426A
InventoresJohn C. Marshall
Cesionario originalMarshall; John C.
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Fan blade display package
US 5685426 A
Resumen
A fan blade display package includes a first and second overlying transparent shells. Each shell has a major dimension and a minor dimension. A recess is formed in each shell for receiving and conforming to at least a first fan blade. The recesses are disposed in offset relation relative to at least one of the dimensions, so that portions of fan blades in each recess are exposed and may be visually perceived through each of the shells.
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Reclamaciones(23)
What I claim is:
1. Fan blade display package, comprising:
a. first and second overlying transparent shells, each shell having a major dimension and a minor dimension;
b. a recess formed in each shell for receiving and conforming to at least a first fan blade; and,
c. said recesses disposed in offset relation relative to at least one a first fan blade; that a fan blade wholly disposed within the recess of said first shell may therethrough be visually perceived and a portion of a second fan blade wholly disposed within the recess of said second shell may be simultaneously visually perceived through said first shell.
2. The package of claim 1, wherein:
a. means secure said shells together.
3. The package of claim 2, wherein:
a. said securing means releasably secure said shells.
4. The package of claim 3, wherein:
a. said securing means includes a plurality of tongues extending from one of said shells, and a plurality of cooperating grooves formed in the other of said shells and in which said tongues are lockingly received.
5. The package of claim 1, wherein:
a. said recesses are offset relative to said minor dimension.
6. The package of claim 1, wherein:
a. said recesses are offset relative to said major dimension.
7. The package of claim 1, wherein:
a. said recesses are offset relative to both said major dimension and said minor dimension.
8. The package of claim 7, wherein:
a. said recesses each have a heel portion and a toe portion, and said heel portions are aligned in said major dimension.
9. Fan blade display package, comprising:
a. first and second transparent overlying shells, said shells having corresponding major and minor dimensions;
b. a recess formed in each shell for receiving and conforming to at least a first fan blade;
c. a fan blade disposed in each recess so that said fan blades overlie in a stack; and
d. said recesses disposed in offset relation relative to each of said dimensions so that a portion of the fan blade in said first shell recess may be visually perceived through said second shell while also permitting the fan blade in said second shell recess to be visually perceived.
10. The package of claim 9, wherein:
a. a substantial major dimension portion of the fan blade in said first shell recess may be visually perceived.
11. The package of claim 10, wherein:
a. the perceived portion of the fan blade in said first shell recess has a color different than the color of the perceived portion of the fan blade in said second shell recess.
12. The package of claim 9, wherein:
a. a substantial major dimension portion and a substantial minor dimension portion of the fan blade in said first shell recess may be visually perceived.
13. The package of claim 12, wherein:
a. the perceived portion of the fan blade in said first shell recess has a color different than the color of the perceived portion of the fan blade in said second shell recess.
14. The package of claim 9, wherein:
a. each recess has a heel portion and a toe portion, said heel portions being aligned in said major dimension and said toe portions being offset in said minor dimension.
15. The package of claim 14, wherein:
a. the perceived portion of the fan blade in said first shell recess has a color or ornamentation different than the color or ornamentation of the perceived portion of the fan blade in said second shell recess.
16. The package of claim 14, wherein:
a. said first shell recess is sized for receiving two fan blades, and said second shell recess is sized for receiving three fan blades.
17. The package of claim 16, wherein:
a. a plurality of tongues extend from said first shell along opposite lateral edges thereof, and a plurality of grooves are formed in said second shell along opposite lateral edges thereof and receive said tongues for thereby releasably securing said shells.
18. The package of claim 17, wherein:
a. each of said shells is formed from a polymeric material.
19. The package of claim 18, wherein:
a. said shells are hingedly interconnected.
20. Display package for ceiling fan blades, comprising:
a. first and second transparent shells, each shell having a major dimension and a minor dimension;
b. a recess formed in each shell for receiving and conforming to at least a frist ceiling fan blade, each recess has first and second end portions spaced in said major dimension and first and second side edges extending in said major dimension; and
c. said shells overlie and said recesses are disposed so that associated ones of at least one of said first and second end portions are aligned and said side edges of one recess extend angularly relative to the associated side edges of said other one recess.
21. The display package of claim 20, further comprising:
a. a ceiling fan blade disposed within the recess of said first shell, and a plurality of ceiling fan blades disposed within the recess of said second shell.
22. The display package of claim 21, wherein:
a. means are associated with each of said shells for releasably securing said shells together.
23. The display package of claim 22, wherein:
a. said first and second shells are hingedly interconnected.
Descripción
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The disclosed invention is to a package for displaying at least two physically similar but dissimilarly colored or ornamented articles, a substantial portion of each of which may be visually observed from either major surface of the package. More particularly, the invention is to a clamshell package for ceiling fan blades, in which each blade is received in a recess and the recesses are offset so that a substantial portion of each ceiling fan blade may be viewed through either shell of the package.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Ceiling fans typically have four or five equiangularly disposed blades which rotate about a center axis. Each blade typically is mounted to a blade arm, which is secured to a rotary shaft. My U.S. Pat. No. 4,936,751, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a fan blade mount for securing the fan blade to the rotary shaft. Consumers on occasion have a need or desire to replace the fan blades. It is to be understood that each fan blade has first and second oppositely disposed major surfaces, only one of which normally may be perceived because of the elevated position of the ceiling fan. Because only one major surface of a blade normally may be observed, then the other non-observed major surface may have an appearance which differs from the observed surface. It has been customary for replacement blades to be sold in sets. Typically the package containing the blades is formed of a transparent plastic material, so that the consumer can observe the color or surface marking in order to select an appropriate fan blade.

Because only one major surface of the blades is viewable when mounted to the fan, then the other major surface may be dissimilarly colored, ornamented or patterned. It has been the practice heretofore for the set of blades sold as replacements to be arrayed in a stack when in the package. When in the stack, then the blades are arrayed so that one major surface is viewable from a first side of the package, while the other major surface is viewable through the other side. In this way a consumer observing the first surface will be aware of the color, and may then turn over the package to observe the other color. The package does not permit the consumer to observe both major surfaces at the same time, so the consumer may not be aware that the other major surface is differently colored. Because the packages are relatively bulky, then it is inconvenient for the consumer to be able to look through more than a few packages.

Even should the consumer be aware that the other major surface is dissimilarly colored, then the package still needs to be turned or rotated in order to permit the other major surface to be observed. Turning the package may be difficult to accomplish, particularly if a plurality of packages are hung together on a hook. Should the consumer wish to observe the last package on the hook, then it may be necessary to remove all of the packages from the hook in order to access that one. Not only may this be more effort than the consumer wishes to expend, but there then is the need for the consumer, or retail personnel, to replace the other packages.

Retailers today are constantly seeking ways to increase sales while minimizing costs. The prior package is relatively expensive because of the need to have the package rehung, and also because additional packages are necessary to compensate for the consumer's failure to recognize that each package has blades with different colors or surface ornamentation. Not only does this require additional inventory, but also additional display space. Thus costs are increased, while not necessarily optimizing sales.

In view of the above, those skilled in the art will understand that there is a need for a display package permitting a consumer to observe a substantial portion of each of the major surfaces of ceiling blade fans in a stack, in order to facilitate retail purchase while minimizing consumer inconvenience and retailer costs. The disclosed invention meets these and other needs in the art by providing a clamshell package formed of two overlying transparent shell members, each of which has a recess in which ceiling blade fans are received. The recesses are offset relative to each other, so that a substantial portion of each major surface of the blades may be observed through either shell, thus permitting the consumer to observe the major surfaces without a need to rotate or remove the package.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A fan blade display package according to the invention includes first and second overlying transparent shells. Each shell has a major dimension and a minor dimension. A recess is formed in each shell for receiving and conforming to at least a first fan blade. The recesses are disposed in offset relation relative to at least one of the dimensions. Because of the offset disposition of the recesses, then portions of at least one fan blade in each recess are exposed and may be visually perceived through each of the shells.

A fan blade display package includes first and second transparent overlying shells. The shells have corresponding major and minor dimensions. A recess is formed in each shell for receiving and conforming to at least a first fan blade. A fan blade is positioned in each recess, so that the blades overlie in a stack. The recesses are disposed in offset relation relative to at least one of the dimensions. A portion of the fan blade in the first shell recess may be visually perceived through the second shell, while the fan blade in the second shell recess also may be visually perceived therethrough.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent in view of the following description and drawings of the above-described invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects and advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view first embodiment of the display package of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a second embodiment of the package of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the package of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Clamshell package P, as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, includes a first transparent shell 10 hingedly connected at 12 to second transparent shell 14. I prefer that the shells 10 and 14 of the package P be manufactured from a transparent polymeric material. Use of a transparent material permits optimum viewing of the contents of the package. Polymeric material is utilized because it may be vacuum-formed, while also permitting hinged action at 12.

Each of the shells 10 and 14 is rectangular in plan. The shells 10 and 14 have corresponding dimensions. Each shell has a major or length dimension L, and a minor or width dimension W. The shells 10 and 14 are sized to accommodate fan blades 16, and preferably five fan blades 16 form a set contained within the package P. Those skilled in the art will understand that package P may contain more or fewer fan blades 16 than five, depending upon the blades or the fan manufacturer. Additionally, while I prefer that the package P be used to display ceiling fan blades, it may be used with other sorts of articles where there is a need or desire to permit a consumer to observe more than one item at a time.

As best shown in FIG. 2, and as can be appreciated from FIG. 1, shell 10 has a recess 18 formed therein in a shape conforming to the shape of the fan blades 16. Preferably the recess 18 has a depth sufficient to receive two fan blades 16 as a result of peripheral wall 19. Shell 14, on the other hand, has a recess 20 which likewise conforms to the shape of blades 16, and which has a depth sufficient to accommodate three fan blades 16 in view of peripheral wall 21. Thus the blades 16 in package P overlie and form a stack. The recesses 18 and 20, as best shown in FIG. 2, overlie to a large extent, although the recesses 18 and 20 are offset relative to the minor or width dimension W. Thus shell portion 11 overlies the uppermost blade 16 in recess 20, while shell portion 15 underlies the lowermost blade 16 in recess 18. Because of the offset disposition of the recesses 18 and 20, then a portion of the outermost one of the ceiling blades 16 in the recess 20 may be observed through the transparent shell 10, while at the same time permitting the entirety of the outermost one of the ceiling blades 16 in the recess 18 to be observed, as best shown in FIG. 1.

Each of the ceiling fan blades 16 has oppositely disposed major surfaces 22 and 24. The major surfaces 22 and 24 of the blades 16 in the package P typically are differently colored or have different surface ornamentation. Thus, the major surface 22, for example, may have a white color, while the major surface 24, for example, may have a wood grain pattern. Because of the offset orientation of the recess 18 relative to the recess 20, then a consumer observing first shell 10 may quickly and readily ascertain the coloring and surface ornamentation of the major surfaces 22 and 24 of the ceiling fan blades 16 in the stack. Moreover, because the recess 20 is laterally shifted relative to the recess 18, then the consumer may observe an uninterrupted portion of the surface 24 under shell portion 11, and thereby recognize that the entirety of the surface 24 has the wood grain pattern which is observed. While I illustrate a wood grain pattern on the surface 24, those skilled in the art will recognize that the surface ornamentation may be essentially any color, pattern, decoration, illustration, or ornamentation which a consumer may desire.

Because the package P is a clamshell package, having the shells 10 and 14 folded about hinge 12, then I provide a tongue and groove connection for releasably securing together shells 10 and 14. Thus, tongues 26 extend from shell 14 and are lockingly received within grooves 28 formed in shell 10 as best shown in FIG. 2. The tongues 26 and grooves 28 are disposed adjacent lateral edges 30 and 32 of the package P, and span a substantial distance there along. Interposed between adjacent pairs of tongues 26 and grooves 28 are clamps 34 formed in first shell 10 for receiving locking buttons (not shown) extending from shell 14. Similar clamps 34 and buttons may also be provided at upper edge 36 to seal the package P. While I prefer tongue and groove securing means, the shells 10 and 14 may be otherwise secured, such as with adhesive, hot sealing, or by peripheral bonding. The package P may have cut-outs 38 formed in the shells 10 and 14 in order to facilitate the package P being hung on a hook for display to the consumer.

Package P1 is best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. As with the package P, package P1 is a clamshell package of a form generally shown in FIG. 1, so like reference numbers relate to like components. The package P1 differs from the package P essentially in the offset orientation of the recesses. Shell 10 of package P1 of FIG. 3 has recess 40 for receiving two ceiling fan blades 16, with a recess 42 being formed in shell 14 for receiving three ceiling fan blades. Likewise, as best shown in FIG. 4, recess 42 formed in shell 14 is offset relative to the recess 40 formed in shell 10.

Unlike the package P of FIGS. 1-2, the recesses 40 and 42 of the package P1 are offset in both the major dimension L and the minor dimension W. Because of the offset in the major dimension L, then, as best shown in FIG. 4, the heels 50 of the blades 16 contained within the recesses 40 and 42 are longitudinally aligned, as can be seen from the alignment of mounting holes 44, whereas the toe portions 52 at the opposite end of the package P1 adjacent edge 36 are offset in the width dimension W. Thus the fan blades 16 are fanned out in an array, as are the fan blades 16 of package P. Also illustrated in FIG. 4 are the square buttons 46 which are received within the circular clamps 34.

Because the recesses 40 and 42 of the package P1 are offset relative to each other in both the major dimension L and the minor dimension W, then a consumer will be able to visually observe the major surfaces 22 and 24 upon confronting either the shell 10 or the shell 14. Thus, as best shown in FIG. 3, a consumer confronting the package P1 and facing the shell 10 will be able to observe the surface 24 of the outermost blade 16 positioned within the recess 42 of shell 14, while also being able to visually observe the entire surface 22 of the outermost blade 16 received within recess 40. The consumer thus should be able to ascertain not only the respective surface ornamentations on the surfaces 22 and 24, but also that the ornamentation extends over the entirety of each such surface. Similarly, should the consumer instead confront the shell 14, then again the entirety of one of the surfaces, in this case the surface 22, will be observed through the shell 14 while also being able to observe a substantial portion of the surface 24 of the blade 16 in the recess 40 of the underlying shell 10. Because the recesses 40 and 42 are offset also in the major dimension L, then the consumer will observe that the heel portion of the blade 16 in the recess 40 has the same ornamentation as that portion which may be observed along the side edge. Thus the consumer should be able to appreciate that the entirety of the surface 24 has the observed ornamentation.

Because the packages P and P1 permit a consumer to observe both major surfaces of the blades 16 regardless of which shell 10 or 14 is facing the consumer, then the consumer may more easily select a package containing appropriate blades 16. Retailer costs should be reduced because there is less need to have personnel rehang packages removed by a consumer, while also reducing inventory needs and display space. Thus the available space is more efficiently utilized.

While this invention has been described as having a preferred design, it is understood that it is capable of further modifications, uses, and/or adaptations following the general principle of the invention, and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as may be applied to the central features hereinbefore set forth, and fall within the scope of the invention of the limits of the appended claims.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
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Otras citas
Referencia
1 *Fantec Inc., Universal Ceiling Fan Blades Package, Photographs 1, 2, & 3.
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US6868966 *30 Jul 200222 Mar 2005Black & Decker Inc.Self-standing saw blade package
US692098024 Jun 200226 Jul 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Container
US697185425 Feb 20046 Dic 2005Kimberly Ellis KrakowskiMobile kit for ceiling fan
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.206/320, 206/471, 206/464
Clasificación internacionalB65D85/00, B65D75/22
Clasificación cooperativaB65D85/00, B65D75/22
Clasificación europeaB65D85/00, B65D75/22
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
29 Dic 2009FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20091111
11 Nov 2009LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
18 May 2009REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
11 May 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
11 May 2001FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4